Billy Currington Feted Twice in One Day

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Billy Currington photo by Danny Clinch, courtesy of UMG Nashville.


Feb. 25, 2009 — Billy Currington’s song "Don’t" was the subject of not one, but two parties on Music Row Tuesday as industry executives toasted its recent rise to No. 1.

ASCAP and BMI honored Billy and the song’s writers, Jim Beavers and Jonathan Singleton, while the Country Music Association, Country Radio Broadcasters, Country Weekly and the affiliated publishing companies loaded them down with awards. It’s the second time in the last 12 months that Jim and Jonathan have been the subject of a No. 1 party. They also co-wrote Gary Allan’s "Watching Airplanes."

Just coordinating the bash took some doing, given that at least two of the honorees — Billy and Jonathan — are spending quite a bit of time out of town.

"That’s hard to do," Billy said. Jonathan has "been out there as a new artist, radio touring and stuff like that. We’ve been tryin’ to do this for a month and a half now, so we’re very excited to get us all in one room."

"Don’t" bowled Billy over the first time he heard it. It was the end of a lengthy day of listening to songs, and on the way home, he was encouraged to listen to one last track. The country-soul groove knocked him out immediately, and he was convinced "Don’t" was a winner.

"I hit the repeat button 100 times," he said in a speech to party-goers. "I had to hear this song over and over."

Billy took it into the studio within two weeks, and producer Carson Chamberlain helped him ratchet up the R&B quotient just a notch, impressing the writers once the track was completed.

"Billy’s vocal," Jim laughed, "was just pukin’ velvet all over the table."

In fact, the writers’ only regret was a musical element in the original demo that Billy chose not to imitate: "Jim had this brilliant gut-string solo," Jonathan said.

"That’s the only thing that didn’t make it on the record," Jim nodded. "That’s why it was only a one-week No. 1!"

The timing for the party was perfect Jonathan’s band. Jonathan Singleton & The Grove released its debut single, "Livin’ In Paradise," to radio on Monday.

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